Today's post is an "Ask a British Nail Blogger" post about our favourite base and top coats. It was something I suggested on our Facebook wall and seemed to be welcomed as an idea. I love reading this type of post because I am a nosey bugger and it always interests me to see what works for others.
First up are base coats.
I don't use a base coat as such, instead I used a strengthener. As you can see above I have two favourites.
I have been using Duri since the end of November, it works great for me and has helped my nails to really grow. I had a tough few months in September, October and November and was taking a lot of medications, during this time my nails were (for want of a better word) shit. They wouldn't grow and I had a lot of breaks. There are a couple of slight negatives about Duri: it stinks, it makes my eyes water sometimes when I am tired; sometimes it stings, if there is any type of cut near your nail you didn't know you had before using it, you know after using it; it has made my cuticles grow wildly too, I suppose it is all part of the growth process. On the positive sides though: no staining! I use two coats under my polish and there is zero staining; my thumb nail has remained square and not constantly felt flimsy; the growth results have been great; the resilience of my nails has amazed me, things which would normally destroy my nails actually don't! Strong, firm nails. I bought a two pack from a US eBay seller, the picture above is my first bottle and the hoarder in me already ordered a further two pack as it took around 3 weeks to arrive and I didn't want to chance running out!
Onto my other favourite strengthener....
Readers of my blog from last year may remember my posts after I cut my nails off, threw out my Nail Envy and switched to SpaRitual Protein Boost. I had some amazing results from this strengthener! I also didn'thave much of a problem with staining. Protein Boost doesn't have any of the negatives listed with Duri. The only trouble I had with this was my thumbnail bending and breaking. Aside from that it worked perfectly until my health affected my nails. Once Duri works it's magic on my nubbins I will alternate between the two.
Onto top coats......
One shiny, one matte.
In October 2013 I was able to snag 2 bottles of HK Girl from Rainbow Connection after a restock, this is still the first bottle. I previously did a comparison post of five top coats and this one was the best. The dry time is slower than Seche, but not impractically slower. Maybe 15 minutes instead of five. No shrinkage and it wears well.
I do love putting matte top coat over glitters and shimmers, I used to use Rimmel matte top coat but it has been discontinued. This Mentality matte top coat is a perfect replacement, a huge 15ml bottle for around a fiver. I have already used it loads!